Bernard C. "Jack" Young
Mayor, City of Baltimore
Chair, Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners
Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises
Chief Executive Officer
October 30, 2019
For Immediate Release
City Schools Holds Steady on 2019 NAEP Results
(Baltimore, MD)— In 2019, Baltimore City Public Schools’ National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results held steady from 2017 in both subjects and both grades. The slight decreases in 4th- and 8th-grade reading and 8th-grade math, and the slight increase in 4th-grade math were not statistically significant.
NAEP is administered in reading and math every other year to students in grades 4 and 8 and allows comparisons in achievement across states and across a subset of 27 large, urban school districts called Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA).
“I am proud of the hard work I’m seeing in classrooms across the district,” said Sonja Santelises, CEO, Baltimore City Public Schools. “Though we still have work to do to realize the gains we know are possible, I’m confident that if we stay focused on literacy, student wholeness, and leadership in the district’s Blueprint for Success, we are positioning our students and staff for success now and in the future.”
Across large cities, results were also essentially flat from 2017 to 2019, with a 3-point decrease in 8th-grade reading, and no change in math in 8th grade, and a 2-point decrease in 4th-grade reading and a 3-point increase in 4th-grade math. The changes in 8th grade reading and 4th grade math were statistically significant. Among the 27 TUDA districts, City Schools is in line with Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia.
For TUDA districts with Smarter Balance and PARCC tests, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has conducted analysis on math scores that was posted on the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) website. According to the analysis, City Schools’ math scores in 4th- and 8th-grade might be higher for the past several years if NAEP were more closely aligned to college and career-readiness standards.
This year, City Schools passed an equity policy that reflects the district’s commitment to ensuring that all students have an opportunity to excel academically and acknowledges the inequities that still exist. On NAEP, score gaps between black and white students are compared over ten years. Analysis shows the difference between the performance of black and white City Schools students has widened since 2009.
“The district’s equity policy addresses an urgent need to ensure all of our students can be successful,” said Dr. Santelises. “We’ve made some significant changes to disrupt what and how we are teaching and to provide equitable access to programs and resources to our students. We have new curricula in English language arts and math, literacy coaches in 40 schools, Advanced Placement classes in every high school, and updated, ongoing professional learning for staff.”
“In the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress results, Baltimore City’s changes in scores since 2017 were consistent with, or better than, the state of Maryland and nationally and has held its own in both subjects since 2017,” said Mike Casserly, Executive Director, Council of Great City schools. “The reforms being initiated by Dr. Santelises hold promise of higher performance in both subjects in years to come.”
“We are seeing positive results from the district’s Blueprint for Success and know we’re headed in the right direction,” said Board of School Commissioners Chair Linda Chinnia. “There’s still more work to do, but we’re confident that the strategic plan that Dr. Santelises and her team are implementing positions the district on a strong path forward.”